Optimal Workflow?

03-12-2015 09:54 AM
New Contributor III

I'm trying to determine the best workflow for our 3D project.  We have a fairly robust set of data but it's only accurate as of 2009.  As we update it we're trying to get developers to send us their developments (I've been told to request it as a .dae) and we place it in our project.  This is our ideal workflow moving forward as well.

The most recent .dae file we received including not only the development but the surrounding area as well, which we don't need.  I was able to import it by right clicking on the item and unchecking "import as static model".  This gave me the ability to delete the shapes that weren't needed.  However, I'm still left with over 60,000 shapes (the development is pretty large and includes a high level of detail).  I assume due to the number of shapes, City Engine keeps crashing on me and I'm unable to generate a model from the shapes.  Is it possible to reduce/simplify the shapes?  Many of the shapes are being generated by all the window and and facade cutouts, but I'd rather capture these using a texture and so most wouldn't be needed. 

In the end, what I'd like is to add the development in our existing project in whatever format is the smallest/easiest to deal with (I'm assuming this would be a model but should it just be shapes turned to a model, or from a file gdb, or imported as a .dae, .obj,etc.?).

Apologies if this post is too vague or confusing.  I can provide screenshots and more info if needed.



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4 Replies
by Anonymous User
Not applicable

60,000 shapes is not too much for CityEngine, so I can't comment on why it is crashing. If it persists, then we can look into it deeper.

As for formats, I have had luck with OBJ lately. But make sure your material names don't have spaces in them (tiny bug in 2014 obj importer).

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New Contributor III

I can convert the shapes to models (which is the intended end result, correct?) but when I navigate around the site CityEngine crashes and I receive the attached error.  Am I approaching this the wrong way?

My video card is higher than recommended specs.

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Esri Contributor

Hi Scott,

I've received that error before when using CityEngine. Have you tried updating your graphics card driver? That solved the problem for me.


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New Contributor III


That error usually results from the fact that CityEngine was unable to continue rendering because the Microsoft Windows TDR was exceeded. The normal timeout of two seconds can be edited within the Windows Registry however be aware that the registry stores config settings that the OS calls on regularly and errors here can cause serious Windows issues. Microsoft has a great Knowledge Base article detailing GPU recovery here: Timeout Detection and Recovery of GPUs (TDR) (Windows Drivers) . You could also attempt to run CE in safe mode.  The card is obviously a NVIDIA GPU, but what series card do you have? With regard to the shapes, you may find that a cleanupGeometry Operation  allows you to cleanup similar vertices and coplanar angles to reduce the sheer number of shapes. The Cleanup Shapes interactive tool may also help out. You could then recombine the shapes afterwards.